Former Homeless People Reveal The Best Ways To Help People On The Street
Former Homeless People Reveal The Best Ways To Help People On The Street[rebelmouse-image 18348287 is_animated_gif=
There are far too many homeless people in America. How the "richest" country in the world could allow even ONE of it's citizens to be sleeping on the street is disheartening. And nowadays more and more children and families are the added numbers on that list of outdoor occupants. Homelessness is something that affects all of us. Anybody can be homeless if life throws you enough curveballs. It's a sad issue that we all can take part is helping fix. Everyone has an opinion on how but it's rare that we actually consult the suffering to find out the best course of action.
Redditor [u/haseo8998] asked for advice... [Serious] ex/homeless people, in your opinion what's the best way to really help the homeless? What facilities should each city have for them? Open up your hearts people. There are many in need.
GIVE HELP NOT CHARITY.
The majority of homeless are people you don't see on the street. Families living in cars, people trying to get housing, rents increasing that a family simply cant sustain... I admire San Diego having parking lots dedicated to people/families who live in cars. I also think, as far fetched as it may sound to some, if we give apts to some homeless, with deadlines and goals as we do in the welfare system-- we can help people who are simply in a tough spot. Not everyone is on drugs. Many won't take a hand out, this wasn't supposed to "happen to them." A home provides a sense of stability, their own bathroom. Cooking food. A feeling of safety.
HELP WITH GETTING THERE...[rebelmouse-image 18349710 is_animated_gif=
As a former homeless teen, I needed Transportation (like a bus pass or a bike) to make it to school and my job. I couch surfed a lot as a teen and I didn't have a problem with food offers (I know several people who won't eat in front of others unless they are eating too) but I never took money.
A SOFT COUCH...[rebelmouse-image 18349711 is_animated_gif=
My couch surfing started with some serious mental illness and dysfunction within my immediate family/parents. I saved up money and put a deposit on a tiny apartment moving in with a roommate. I ended up missing too much school and dropping out but I got my GED the summer after I should have graduated. Married at 18 (to a lifeguard who used to yell at me for using the showers at the public pool) and parents soon after. We both worked our butts off and supported each other (taking turns) with college. I now have my masters degree (in Social Work) and 2 of my 3 kids have graduated HS already. (3rd is in middle school now). I honestly feel I was determined to do better on my own but I know it was the support from my marriage that kept me strong.
WORKING HARD FOR THE $$$[rebelmouse-image 18349712 is_animated_gif=
If you know anyone hiring for a job, send them into the homeless shelter and ask for help. Especially if it's an under the table job, 11 times out 10 you'll find help.
IT'S ALL ABOUT THE LOOK...[rebelmouse-image 18978086 is_animated_gif=
A system to rent/lease clothes for interviews and work. I know multiple people who weren't able to accept a job or were fired after a few days because they wouldn't be able to afford the uniform until after the first paycheck. 2) Information on how to obtain safe, affordable (cheap) transportation. A lot of folks who are saving to afford a car have been fired due to unreliable transportation.
HELP WITH NO STRINGS... JUST HELP...[rebelmouse-image 18978087 is_animated_gif=
Don't make services contingent on each other. Some examples. I used to work fairly traditional hours (about 8-6) and I was in a shelter that required me to use case management services to participate. Ok, I can b-s with some college degree for an hour but they wanted me to take time off work in my minimum wage job to go to this appointment during the day. Nope. Not worth my job. Soon as I could, I filled up my tank and moved back into my car. Another example. If someone just wants a shower, don't make them have to move into your shelter overnight. There might be a good reason I don't want to stay there, just let me wash my stinky self and go about my day. Another thing. If I'm sleeping in my car, leave me alone. It's nice to be able to sleep for longer than 2 hours at a time before having to move, that life gets exhausting real quick. Don't help me unless I ask for help, police don't need to interfere either unless I am the victim of a crime or breaking a law. Basically be flexible, know that I am a human being who has my own life figured out, know that I know things you don't about my own life, and let me set the terms of interacting with the world to the same extent as anyone else.
EVERYONE NEEDS PROOF OF LIFE...[rebelmouse-image 18978088 is_animated_gif=
Make it easier to get a drivers license. I moved from WA to SoCal and in the process got my wallet stolen with my ID in it. Without an ID you cant get a new debit/credit which equals no cash. Without cards you cant rent, without proof of residency you can't get an ID. Its literally a circle you cant get out of.
A STEADY ADDRESS...[rebelmouse-image 18978089 is_animated_gif=
One of the main reasons the homeless slide further into unemployment is because it's damn near impossible to get a job without a permanent address to give them. I think local businesses are the answer. When you get past the image and stigma, lots of homeless folks just want a job. If the city of state we're able to help businesses with something like tax breaks or whatever to provide min wage work and housing if possible. A restaurant I worked at had a long term dish guy from Mexico living in one of the small studios above the restaurant plus getting a slightly below minimum wage hourly. So many downtown districts have these little spaces. Instead of charging trust fund art kids 2,000/month to live in the attics that those places really are, maybe rent them to people trying to get back on their feet.
A HEALTHY MIND IS A GREAT FIRST STEP...[rebelmouse-image 18978091 is_animated_gif=
I was homeless for about 3 months while I was in college. I slept in the school library during weeknights, and on the steps of a church on weekends. I showered and kept most of my stuff in the school gym. Personally I started drinking almost every night because it's so hard to sleep on the concrete, or under the bright lights in the library without something flowing through your system. A lot of homeless people use drugs not just to cope, but to keep themselves on a regular sleep schedule. It's really hard to get a good night's sleep when you don't have any sort of mattress to sleep on, or have lights shining in your eyes at all hours of the night.
There was a homeless shelter nearby but it's only open at night, and it's first come, first served, so if you have classes or other stuff to do there usually isn't any space left. Plus you have to sit on the sidewalk with a bunch of other hobos waiting for it to open. Expanding the size of homeless shelters could help, but it also has a disparate impact on the nearby neighborhoods as well. No one wants a bunch of addicts lying around doing drugs on their front lawn or in front of their business.
Around half the homeless people I met were homeless by choice and wouldn't take a free home if it was offered. A lot of them traveled around the country, often by hopping freight trains. These people wouldn't take services even if offered. Most of the ones I got along with refused to panhandle because they felt it demeaning. A lot of them actually had jobs, they just chose to be homeless for personal or financial services. I think one of the issues with the public's perception of homelessness is that people assume everyone wants a home, everyone wants services, everyone wants to stop being homeless. A majority of the homeless people I met were perfectly happy living life as a hobo.
However, about a quarter of them had serious, obvious mental health issues like schizophrenia. I'd love to see an increase in services to help these people. I think it would be cool if we could create a semi-assisted living community for these people, allowing them some degree of independence as appropriate, but with supervision from health care professionals, sort of like a nursing home for hobos.
A QUICK RINSE...[rebelmouse-image 18978092 is_animated_gif=
Washrooms. I m not joking here. A bathhouse or simple sanitary measures. Most homeless people look ugly and disheveled because they don't have option to tidy up. A simple bath makes them socially more acceptable and will boost their sense of self worth.
ALL SHOULD BE AVAILABLE...[rebelmouse-image 18978093 is_animated_gif=
They need to offer the option of buying warm food with food stamps first of all. The worst thing was when I was homeless and couldn't even keep any of our food because we didn't have any way to store it or cook it. I could go to a food bank sure, but they gave me 10 lbs of frozen meat and some canned veggies. You have no way of preparing this stuff when you're homeless in the middle of a small town. Not only that, but when you're homeless they actually have the gall to lower SSI and foodstamps because you're no longer paying bills or utilities. Public restrooms and showers would also be wonderful instead of having to wander around at 8am trying to find an open gas station or corner store with a bathroom.
PAGING A DOCTOR....[rebelmouse-image 18978094 is_animated_gif=
HEALTHCARE. If a homeless person breaks their ankle and doesn't have the money or insurance to cover it they're screwed. And then if its not treated it doesn't heal right then they're even MORE screwed. Mobility is key to being homeless.
MORE OPEN SPACES...[rebelmouse-image 18978095 is_animated_gif=
I used to hop freight trains so this will be a bit different.
I feel like I would have greatly benefitted from libraries being open later, because they were one of my number one spots to go sit, read, and use wifi.
Public parks could use more benches or places to just sit and maybe hang out with your road dawgs for a bit
Also, trash bins outside! I don't litter, but carrying my trash around in my pack and my pockets sucked and sometimes trash bins are few and far between
A FULL PLAN...[rebelmouse-image 18978098 is_animated_gif=
I've been homeless more than once. Sleeping in every article of clothing I own because it's winter in upstate NY, USA kinda homeless.
The best way to really help the homeless? In patient mental health treatment, substance abuse and addiction counseling, and basic needs providence - on a time limit.
Transition assistance from indigent to social cog.
Self esteem and employability coaching.
A one year program that reintegrates people into a stable lifestyle is a great start. It's got to be a one-off though. No repeats. It's gotta be assistance, not a crutch.
If I'd have had any of this, I wouldn't have had to fight it out by myself. I wouldn't have relapsed so many times. I wouldn't be afraid or ashamed of asking for help or handouts.
It's tough, in capitalist nations. It's even tougher in countries with no actual backing to their currency. It's the worst when everyone hates the poor.
THE BASICS...[rebelmouse-image 18978099 is_animated_gif=
Volunteer/donate at shelters (make sure they're running well before either one.)
Cities should all have areas where the homeless can at the very least get cleaned up. A way to get a haircut, hygiene supplies (Tampons, pads, soap, shampoo.) a shower, bathroom etc. Understandably a city can't always supply a place to sleep, (yes I know about potential alternatives, but a city can't always get the approval whether its from local politicians or the voters in the area.) But they should do their best to atleast try to help, whether it's simple shelters in parks a person can bunker down in during a storm, a big check in shelter, or a network of volunteer centers.
They should also regularly check in on how things are run, much more than just budgeting and whether they meet grant requirements, but whether or not they're making sure donations go where they should be going, whether or not they're operating under a reasonable overhead, etc.
BELIEVE IN HUMANITY...[rebelmouse-image 18978100 is_animated_gif=
I don't know. I learned nothing from my experience except how seemingly terrible and complex the problem is. A lot of the people I encountered are meaningfully mentally ill or physically disabled enough that I don't think there's any path forward for them to living a fully independent life in the conventional sense, they probably need some sort of assisted living program. Other people are so briefly homeless and otherwise capable, that even calling them homeless is more a barrier for them than any sort of meaningful category.
Most people don't want to give to individuals, because some of those individuals are scammers or else are addicts, so they either do nothing or else give to organizations that provide services that unfortunately are often worse than nothing and incur overheard costs that lessens the impact of the money given from the moment it's donated. I would rather sleep outside then in the average homeless shelter, so giving to them isn't necessarily the answer either.
Though I suppose from all this complexity emerges a certain simplicity, in that, if the government took ownership of these problems and actually allocated any money to them at all, it would probably be much easier to create shelters that actually serve a function. Right now you have a lot of private organizations, competing for funding, which usually involves that they demonstrate they serve a unique function and have a novel approach to the problem in their area. Rather than encourage innovation, this essentially nullifies efforts for groups to work together or consolidate services into a comprehensive continuum of care in the way that a state run program might be able to. Granted many states, including my own, are terribly broke at the moment, which sounds like a good reason not to fund such programs, until you figure in the fact that the absence of such programs is probably costing them a lot of money in a round about way, not to mention the fact that said states have had many opportunities to make millions off of paving the way for things like recreational marijuana and gambling and such, but they drag their feet pointlessly.
Ironically the non-profit sector, at the level of the research and the money, is often very self-serving because nothing can meaningfully be expected to be accomplished with no money except jettisoning a phd students career into a better field, that they don't stay means that the people who do stay, are often not policy researchers, but career bureaucrats who don't value novel solutions and therefore perpetuate the cycle of turning away innovation.
It's the intersection of a lot of human failings, the ineptness of government, the cynicism of the individual, even the limitations of medicine itself. At the end of the day, a cursory look at the globe shows us that in countries where homelessness is not a problem, it's clearly a result of them adopting the idea and the priority that no one should be homeless regardless of their situation or character, which is obviously not something that is embraced in the U.S.A.
Personally, my optimism on the issue does not lie with the conventional social service non-profit sector, but with the innovation of designers and engineers. I think the very concept of what it means to be housed is in flux, and that while a lot of the problems they're facing in redefining the nature of housing, structure and shelter are very large, I'll always bet on the mountain that wants to be moved over the pebble that sure as hell doesn't.
SHELTERS SHOULD BE COMFORTABLE.[rebelmouse-image 18978101 is_animated_gif=
I was lucky to be homeless in a city with the best shelter I ever heard of. It's a huge facility that offers free, unlimited access to showers, toilets and laundry machines. There is an administrative area where anyone can meet one of the social workers there, or register to make the shelter their official address, so they can receive mail. The canteen serves pretty high quality food for free. There is a common area with beds, but also private boxes with a bed and a small kitchen you can rent like an appartement for 90€/month. The team is overall pretty nice. The best part is that you don't need to painstalkingly prove you're really homeless, provide a lot of documents like in other shelters ; in this one, they treat you with respect and offer you food, shelter and support before talking about papers.
I feel like if every city had such a shelter, it'd be pretty good.
BEING PAID WHAT WE'RE ALL WORTH![rebelmouse-image 18978102 is_animated_gif=
It comes down to homeless people wanting to rejoin society or not. Right now, it's easier for some to be homeless than to live on minimum wage.
Reddit user pizzabagels1994 asked: 'What caused your last break up?'
There's a saying about needing to kiss a lot of frogs before finding Prince Charming. Most people date more than one person before settling on a life partner.
And even then it doesn't always work out.
Most of us have at least one breakup in our past. The reasons things don't work between people vary greatly.
But we all have our breaking point.
Reddit user pizzabagels1994 asked:
"What caused your last break up?"
Lack of Empathy
"I had just been diagnosed with Stage 4 metastatic cancer. All the attention I had been giving her I didn't have the energy to maintain while getting Chemo and avoiding Covid."
"My final straw. She yelled at me on the phone while I was in intensive care with pulmonary embolisms."
"Just that light bulb moment, and I was done."
"That was 3 years ago. All good now. I'm in remission, and thinking about dating again."
"I got into an argument with a crazy ex that was about 8 years older than me when I was 19 and we were screaming and chatting at each other and I remember she grabbed this vase that I had just bought her some flowers in and chucked it at my head and barely missed.
"It's hard to remember what kind of insanities I was yelling at her after that but she came around the corner with two brand new butcher knives from a knife set we had bought earlier that day and chased me around the house in circles."
"The house had bars on the windows and you had to have a key to open the front and back door it did not just have a manual lock."
"I ended up putting myself in the bathroom and holding the door as hard as I could and she actually stabbed one of the knives through the door."
"The whole knife did not come through the door only about two inches of it but that's plenty enough to still scare you."
"It was around 2010 and I had one of those prepaid phones in my pocket and I called her dad to come get her. He lived across the street."
"After her dad got her calmed down he took me on a ride to the duck pond at like 2 or 3:00 in the morning and was feeding the ducks old pizza and was just telling me that I needed to chill out and trying to give me some kind of a life lesson."
"He was probably pretty intoxicated himself but usually managed to hold himself together."
He really wasn't a great guy but came in during his daughter's mental crisis."
"The duck pond adventure started to end as the sun came up and I went and locked myself into the bathroom at the house and just went to sleep on the floor."
"I was going to get my things and get out that morning but she begged me to stay and at the time I thought that was what I really wanted."
"I think she kind of was mentally unwell at the time and I wasn't my best either."
"I did not call the cops on her and we reconciled for a time."
"Unfortunately I seem to have a pattern of not realizing I'm in a major mentally abusive situation due to growing up in one."
"Wife and I were attending couples therapy."
"The therapist said she was being literally abusive to me. My then-wife demanded a new therapist."
"Second therapist said she was being abusive to me. My then-wife filed for divorce.
"While my life right after was hell, it's come back around and I'm doing better than ever."
"My drinking, lies about drinking, and sh*tty finances because of drinking. 107 days sober today."
"Finally, someone who admits it was their fault. Me too brother."
"Past exes all was because of my drinking. Thankfully, I found someone who helped me quit."
"I'm 1yr 8m sober. We got this."
"We had our home, our plans and were preparing to marry in about three months when we separated."
"Thank goodness you found out before getting married."
"I know it must really hurt and maybe even keep you from trying again with someone new but you really dodged a bullet."
"Yep, my wife cheated and it's costing me about 100k between legal fees, buying out her equity in the house (which she paid none of), give her a chunk of my retirement and liquid cash."
"Honestly I think everyone should have a nasty infidelity clause in a pre-nup at this point."
"I can also look forward to sending her 70k in child support over the coming years. And I'm gonna take a wild guess that most of it won't be spent on the kid."
Something is Missing
"It took some time but we both realized that we weren't giving each other what we needed."
"Same! He saw it first so he was the one to leave me, but thank God he did, we were so incompatible!"
"Leaving my last relationship was rough—it was my first ever relationship and lasted 7 years—but I was so relieved at the same time when I got dumped."
"It was a very healthy breakup on both sides, and we kept in touch on and off for just under a year afterwards until she began seeing someone else and I felt it would be best to leave it be out of respect for her new partner."
"We honestly just both grew up (got together when I just turned 18; both young) and eventually fell out of romantic love."
"I still hold her to the highest respect and will always have a place in my heart for her, but I was so glad when she bit the bullet and broke it off. I would've felt too guilty to do so; I owed her so much."
"We had a very tumultuous relationship for the first couple years—we were very much in love but I had a lot of unresolved mental health issues, had a nervous breakdown, etc..."
"I still hate what I put her through but hope I was able to make it up to her in the last couple years of the relationship."
"Anyways, I wish her the best. My life and mental well-being has gotten SO much better in the last few years of being single; in a way I owe that to her too."
"He wants to get his life together."
"We still love each other and he thinks he needs to do this on his own but I want to be here for him, I promised him when we first started dating I’d be here for him as much as I can."
"It just hurts because he thinks I’m not strong enough to still love him and be apart from him when I am. It’s complicated."
Not enough time
"Her not having enough time for both grad school and a relationship."
"She did make the right choice though."
"Oof, yeah. Grad school is a real drain, emotionally."
"Like, you need the support of a partner while you go through it, but you don't really have anything to give back."
"It's an awful time."
"Just broke up with a girl halfway through a medical degree. I couldn't do it. I had been supporting her financially for 8 years and even another four I couldn't do. She also wanted me to cook, shop more than her."
"I started telling her I wanted her to contribute more towards the relationship. She grew distant but then really leaned on me when she needed financial and emotional support."
"She gets through her exams gets admitted to the doctorate and then cheats on me on holiday with a Swiss rocket scientist."
"He's now supporting her finanically in a long distance relationship. Feels like I dodged a bullet. Still 8 years is a long time."
It's complicated seems to be the mantra of relationships in the 21st century.
Are we no longer as loyal or loving as we were in the past?
Or do we just have more options and an unwillingness to settle.
When you've spent enough time in your professional industry, you tend to learn secrets about the industry that the general public won't know.
For example, I work in social media. I create social posts for influencers and activists. I have no real affiliation with these people, and I usually don't even get guidelines on what to post, past that I have to post every hour or so.
Every industry has a secret, and Redditors are ready to share secrets about their own industries.
It all started when Redditor Thealexiscowdell1 asked:
"What is a "dirty little secret" about an industry that you have worked in, that people outside the industry really should know?"
All The Same
"Not all that much of a secret, but, i used to work in a peanut butter factory, we produced about 25-30-ish different storebrands ranging from very cheap to stupidly expensive, we had a grand total of 3 recipes, chunky, not chunky and no additives."
"Peanut butter should taste like peanut butter."
"Wash the top of your cans. Mice poop on those things all the time while they are in warehouse or transit."
"I’m so relieved that my mother raised me to do this lmao. I thought it was strange growing up but then I just started to do it automatically without question."
"Absolutely, I did security at a local supermarket warehouse, and doing my walkthrough, I saw rats 🐀 so big the porters used to ride around the warehouse on them (obviously not really) but I did see the rats and they’d be everywhere. Of course, they cr*pped on everything."
Quite The Employee Discount
"I worked at a major jewelry company in the US. When we wanted to buy jewelry, we paid what it costs to make the product (material, labor, shipping), plus 10%. I paid around $115 for a pair of $950 diamond earrings."
"I worked wholesale diamond sales so I had connections throughout the entirety of the industry. Made my wife's 15k+ engagement ring for about 3k."
Keep Track Of Your Belongings
"I worked in the moving and storage industry and if you EVER pay movers to pack and move your family, DEMAND an itemized bill and proof of service."
"These people are out here RAKING people over the coals. Inflating box counts, charging for services not performed, etc. it’s not AS BAD if it’s COD but if it’s a corporate move for your job?? DEMAND IT. You might not be paying for it out of pocket, but it’s still showing on your income as taxable wages."
"special note to say not ALL companies do this but ALL the ones I worked with did."
"High volume recruiters spend an average of 10 seconds looking at a resume."
""You are a perfect fit for this [job title that's not remotely close to what you have done in the past] position based on your experience at [company].""
"Emails are mostly just basic keyword match mass batches. They might not have even read your CV, it just had a keyword."
"Totally. It's usually through LinkedIn. I generally respond with, "Oh wow! What part of my profile do you think makes me a good fit for the position?""
Heavier Is (Apparently) Better
"They put little weights in lipsticks to make them feel more expensive so they can charge more."
"Same for Beats headphones."
The Truth Comes Out
"Zoos and museums are universally held together with double sided tape. The size or prestige of the organization doesn’t matter either."
"You guys can afford double sided tape?"
"We had to use single-sided tape, taped together."
"Also, the dinosaur bones that you're ooh-ing and aah-ing over are probably plaster. The actual bones are stored safely in the basement."
"I imagine most artifacts on display aren't real, just very high-quality fakes. You really can't trust the general public not to f**k it up somehow. Honestly, as long as the museum is using the real ones to learn more about our history, I'm OK with it."
Like Cramming For A Test
"When the health inspector shows up, a mad scramble happens in the back to clean the kitchen while they start the inspection in the dining/bar area of the restaurant."
"Yup. One manager will hold the health inspector up in the front of house while back of house is busy labeling and making sure minor violations they visibly see are dealt with."
"Truer words have never been typed lol send out the king or queen of small talk and people skills while the back of the house tosses anything that isn’t temping correctly and runs ribbons of labeling to the walk in to make sure it’s all labeled."
"If you’re ever buying bulk gravel/sand/crushed stone from a local pit/quarry that has scales to weigh the amount of product you’re getting- you’re getting f**ked because you’re paying for water. Most of these pits/quarries spray the living f**k out of their stockpiles before/during operation to make the material heavier in the truck. Never buy by the ton- always buy aggregate by the cubic yard. It’s a measure of volume- not weight."
"Source: I own a rock crushing business/multiple quarries and I charge by the cubic yard to not screw the public :)"
He No Longer Works For The Company
"I wouldn’t say it’s mostly a secret but agency staffing firms churn and burn college graduates who are basically thrown in the wild. The recruiter you worked with may be gone in six months and that’s why a lot of ghosting happens."
"Yeah, recruitment and headhunting are not altruist professions. They're not social workers looking out for clients best interests."
"I got a high-paying job via a headhunter. After three months at the new place, I realized I hated it, and I quit."
"Three days later, I got a call from the headhunter, and he was IRATE, YELLING at me over the phone at the top of his lungs. He called me every name in the book, and went hoarse from yelling."
"Turns out, he gets paid a commission for placing me at that job ONLY if I stay at least 90 days. I just happened to quit on the 89th day coincidentally."
"So he lost out on a good chunk of money thanks to that."
"The roses you buy at Valentine's Day were harvested around Xmas. It's the worst time of the year to buy roses and I don't mean because they're more expensive. They're also the worst quality because it's a longer holding time between harvest and use than any other time of the year."
"Never ever ever send flowers through an order processing service. Look at the location you're in or sending to and talk to a florist in that area directly. Don't pick a picture off some external website. Ask the florist what they have and can make that fits your budget. If you're worried, ask them to text you a pic of the completed design."
The Psychology Of Groceries
"There is a lot of money spent every year that decides where specific items are placed on grocery store shelves."
"If you're at a grocery store that's part of a chain, and you look at a shelf and there's an item that's approximately at eye level, I guarantee you that the company that makes that item paid a lot of money to put them there. There's lots of weird psychological tricks that go on in terms of how stores are laid out."
"Candy, sugary cereals with mascots, the more expensive toys...etc. all at child height."
"The milk and toilet paper are always in the back because those are what people often make a quick run to the store for. By putting it in the back, it forces the customer to walk past all sorts of tempting end caps. The chances of the person going in for one thing and coming out with a bunch is increased."
"People joke about doing this all the time at Target, but it's not just a joke, Target actually paid a lot of money to get customers to spend a lot of money. All by designing things just so."
"I learned this in the one and only marketing class I took. It was really interesting, while also being kinda horrible."
Turns out the world is even more manipulative than I thought!
Like many people, I spent my time in retail. Customers were by far the hardest part of the job.
In college, I worked as a "bookseller"—our official title—in a mall for a national chain of bookstores. Without fail, every shift one or more customers would ask for something like "that book, the red one, by the guy."
When we'd ask for more information—like genre or if it was new or where they saw it—they'd just repeat, "red book, guy, you know which one I mean."
We most definitely didn't know which one they meant, but customers thought if we worked in a bookstore we should know every book in print from even the vaguest of descriptions. And they'd get mad when we didn't.
Anyone who has worked with customers has war stories.
Reddit user j-rock292 asked:
"What is the dumbest thing a customer has gotten mad at you about that was not your fault?"
Were they blind?
"They asked me to cut a blind."
"When I asked for the dimension they wanted it cut to, it was larger than the original blind length."
"Said I can't make it longer, only shorter and she lost her sh*t."
Tag, you're it.
"Back when I worked at Target, some guy came in about 30 minutes before we closed, and wanted to buy a laptop."
"He wanted to run some obscure software on it for his laser ttagarena and got really nettled when I told him I was unfamiliar with the software and so I couldn't give a definitive answer."
"Then he started going on about how much he made in a week compared to my paycheck."
"So I told him something along the lines of, 'Well then buy this laptop and if it works, it works. If it doesn't, it won't hurt your wallet'."
"He really didn't like that and after some colorful language, was escorted out of the store."
"In an odd twist of fate a few months later the mother of one of my best friends bought his laser tag arena because he ran it into the ground."
Credit where credit is due.
"Not me but a friend of mine worked customer service for a credit card company."
"She said a young guy called and asked why he couldn't use his card. She told him because he had exceeded his $15K limit."
"Dude was like 'yeah but that was for last month. Don't I get another $15K limit this month?'."
Can you hear me now?
"Customer got mad at me because I could barely hear her over a bad connection."
"I was on a landline, she was not."
"After disconnecting the call because it was going nowhere, she immediately called back and complained to me about the a**hole she'd just been talking to, saying, 'He said I was bad at making connections. Why the f**k was he talking about my love life?! You are much more helpful, though'."
No, I can't help you.
"I wasn't even working at this shop, I was just another customer. I didn't even wear a shirt similar to an employee's."
"A woman comes up to me and says, 'Excuse me, do you work here?' But before I can say no, she asks where something is."
"She sounded polite enough so I responded just as politely, 'Sorry, I don't work here. The people with the blue shirts do'."
"She got slightly upset and said someone else had pointed at me when she asked for a worker."
"I look to my side, and literally less than a couple feet away, there was an actual worker. I told her 'I think they meant that guy right there'."
"She then completely lost her cool, screaming various things at me and calling me all sorts of names."
"The employee tried to intervene but she just kept screaming. She eventually stops with, 'I want to see your manager!'."
I told her to f'k off. The employee laughed and she stomped off, then I just went back to shopping.
"Didn't see her again."
Maybe if you hum a few bars?
"I worked at a Music Store in a mall around Christmas."
"A lady came in and wanted to get the album of whatever was playing at the store she was in earlier."
"She got mad when I didn’t know what music they played in other stores."
Full service doesn't include time travel.
"In the ‘60s I worked at a gas station that also did repairs."
"A customer drove in with a flat right rear tire and no spare. I pulled out the nail and plugged it."
"She was good to go and left happy."
"She drove in about 2 months later with a flat left front tire."
"I pulled out a screw and plugged it while she screamed that I should have checked it last time she was there."
"She has every right to be mad."
"You’re obviously a terrible tech because you didn’t make a time machine to go into the future and prevent her from getting another flat."
"You must feel terrible that she takes her car somewhere else now."
The call is coming from inside the house.
"A long time ago I serviced someone's Internet connection at their house."
"When I left, my supervisor called to let me know that I had been accused of theft at this house."
"This crazy lady thought I stole a handset for her landline phone, not even the base with it, just the handset."
"She called later to report she found it in between her couch cushions."
I control the weather, but work here for minimum wage.
"Got yelled at for ruining his family’s vacation at Disney world because the rides shut down due to the storm."
"The summer right out of high school I worked at an amusement park."
"We had a massive severe thunderstorm ( heavy rain, lots of lightning, 50+mph winds, whole deal) one day, because giant metal structures and lightning dont mix we had to shut down all of our rides."
"Well this dipshit accused ME of starting this storm just to ruin his day."
Maybe she didn't want to wash it.
"I was refusing her a refund on a kids' duvet set."
"This woman threatened my colleague, so I (manager) stepped in."
"Protocol states we had to check and repack before giving a refund, so I took it to the stock room only to find that she had folded it back into the packaging, complete with the vomit chunks!"
Florida is hot in May
"So, I worked at a chocolate shop in Boston MA."
"Someone called to place an order, for shipment, to Florida."
"I said, 'okay, we do require next day shipping and an ice pack on shipments to Florida, so the chocolates don't melt. The shipping Will be $30 and the ice pack and insulated packaging will be an additional $8'."
"It's my standard spiel."
"The person's like 'the chocolate is only $22. No. I'll pay for the shipping but not the ice pack. It will be fine'."
"'Yadda Yadda warning. Yadda Yadda. When it shows up melted it won't be our fault I'm noting it in the system'."
"So, what phone call does my manager get 2 days later?"
"Oh? Person got melted chocolate? Oh it's our fault is it?"
"But look? There's a note in the system they refused to pay for an icepack."
"Did I warn them the chocolate would melt? Yes I did."
"Do they now have nothing for mothers day? No they dooooon't."
I also sold mattresses and appliances. Maybe because they were a major investment, I had far fewer bad experiences with those customers.
My worst experiences were working a customer service phone line for a Department of Defense agency.
People were almost always angry before they picked up the phone.
Have you had a customer go off on you? Share your experience in the comments.
Friendships can be complicated and messy. However, being betrayed is straight-up the worst. From lying to thieving, these Redditors share their stories of some of the worst betrayals they’ve ever encountered. It seems that sometimes friends are just enemies in disguise.
Betrayed Over A Blokewoman leaning on beige concrete wallPhoto by Raychan on Unsplash
I had just escaped my husband with my kids, and my best friend at the time said I could stay with her. Her husband was in the service, so he'd be deploying soon, and she didn't want to be alone. It worked out great for a month. Then, an acquaintance of mine came over and met my friend. We all hung out one night, just talking and laughing.
My friend's husband left for training, and she tried to get with the acquaintance. She was turned down and blamed me. She had it in her head that I had sabotaged her chances. As a result, she went completely off the rails.
She took money from me, hacked into my email account, and started emailing business contacts and clients with awful lies, took from my kids, and tossed me out on my behind as I was looking for a place to go. I got away from her and finally started a new life. But she wasn't done yet.
Her final act of betrayal was when she ran into my terrible ex and told him that we were with her the whole time and where he could find me and the kids.
He Pilfered My Prom Date
When I was a senior, I had a crush on a girl named Ashley. My three friends and I were hanging out one weekend at a friend's house. We were lying there, and we asked one another who we were taking/asking to the prom.
Chris was taking his girlfriend, Nel was taking some girl he was talking to, and Nich said, "I'm not sure yet. I may not even go". When they asked me, I said, "Guys, tomorrow is the day I grow the balls to ask Ashley on a date".
The next day, I walked up to Ashley and said, "Hey, I have a question! Are you going to prom with anyone?" She responded, "Yeah! I'm going with your friend Nich. He asked me about five minutes ago". I couldn't believe it—but karma came for him in the end. Nich got her pregnant that night. He's paying child support.
My Friend, My Foe
This guy was my closest friend. I lived with him after letting him co-rent a place my mother owned so he could pay lower rent and save up his spare cash. About six months in, he kept vanishing at night, giving reasons like, "I'm going out with work" and "I'm meeting the lads". It turned out he was sleeping with my girlfriend.
He didn't have the guts to confront me about it and talk it through. After months of angry messages, I cut my losses and decided to be the bigger man. I found myself a new girl who was utterly amazing and my now ex-best friend was dating my now ex-girlfriend.
I put my best foot forward and on a trip around Europe, and sent him a message telling him I'm happy to put things behind us and meet up when I get back so we could be friends again. I got back home a couple of weeks later and was about to leave my house to go over and see him when my current girlfriend showed up. She dropped a bombshell on me.
She sat me down and explained that over the past couple of weeks my "friend" had been sending her text messages begging her to sleep with him. She showed me the messages and I haven't spoken to the guy since.
On The Outs
My fiancé and I were living in the Outer Banks with a “friend” in the months leading up to our wedding. We were promised a room when we got down there, only to find out that we would be sleeping on the floor for the next three months. Regardless, we had a good time, and everything seemed great.
I was helping my friend get his business off the ground and offered him money multiple times to help with bills. However, he assured me he had it taken care of. My wedding was back in Michigan, so when the time came to drive up there, my fiancé and I packed up everything and drove up.
We were going to take our dog with us, but they assured us, saying, “He'll just be a hassle and you'll be too busy. Leave him here". So we did. We drove up, got married, and had a great time. We began driving back down, and somewhere around Illinois, I got a chilling text message.
It said, “You kids have put me in so much debt. It’s not working out. Come get your [stuff] and your dog and get out of my house". I understand sometimes things don't work out, but they hadn’t let on that they weren't happy with the situation at all. If things weren’t working out, they could have said something before we left, and we could have stayed friends.
Now, we had to drive halfway across the country and back to get our dog. When we got there, they were nowhere to be found, but the house was unlocked. We went inside to get our stuff and our dog. Half of our things were packed and sitting on the table; the other half was locked in their bedroom.
We grabbed what was out, grabbed our dog, and got in the car to make the journey back. In the process of traveling, we spent all of our wedding money on gas and hotels. I had worked for him, and before I left, he shorted me $400 on my check. I left for my wedding, thinking he'll pay me when I get back. Nope.
I could honestly have forgiven his behavior if he would have just paid me what I was owed. I got his business off the ground, and when it took off, he reaped in the wealth and jerked me around.
He Had A Trick Up His Sleeve
I had found the love of my life. We met at a Halloween party and both fell head over heels for each other. Eventually, I proposed to her at a haunted house, and she said yes. I started a new job and met a developer at the company who seemed like a cool dude. We started hanging out and he quickly became my best friend. The three of us would hang out nearly every day.
I thought it was odd that he didn't have any other friends, especially since he seemed to be such a smooth talker, but I didn't think too much about it. I would tell him how much in love I was, my plans for the future, the troubles we were having, etc. After he went through a breakup, my fiancé and I tried to help him find someone.
Then, I found out the awful truth. Each time he was in a relationship, he duped the girl out of an existing relationship. I thought it was pretty shady. Then, I started to notice that my fiancée and he were becoming closer. I didn’t really think anything of it since he was my best friend, and I thought he had my back like I had his.
I also thought my fiancée felt about me the same way that I felt about her. Things came to a head with my fiancée, and she said she needed to take a break. She told me she was going to stay at our best friend's house while she figures stuff out. Suddenly, my best friend wouldn’t talk to me.
After a few days, I confronted my fiancée, and sure enough, I didn't have a best friend. He had been working on getting her the whole time. It was his little sick game that he enjoyed playing, and then it all made sense as to why he didn’t have any friends.
He was a fake, manipulative, disloyal jerk who preyed on women when they were going through a rough time so that he could "win," get the girl, and come off like a knight in shining armor. Thankfully, she realized what a piece of garbage he was and left him.
A Fairytale Endingwoman in white dress wearing green fairy wingsPhoto by Anthony Tran on Unsplash
When I was in high school, I found it really hard to make friends with other females. For a little while, I hung around with these two girls, who I thought were my friends. I used to make them cupcakes and stuff because I was so happy I'd actually made some “friends”.
One day, they told me they were having a dress-up fairy party, and everyone was invited. They said it was going to be huge. Being young and not having been invited to many parties, I was so excited, I went out and bought heaps of material to make my own fairy costume. I stayed up all night making this ridiculous pink tutu and fairy wings.
I rocked up to this party the next day, and they were all standing outside in the driveway in casual clothes like regular T-shirts and shorts. There I was, with a big smile on my face, jumping out of my mom’s car dressed like a fairy in front of 20 people from school, all of who were ready with cameras and laughing at how stupid I looked in my homemade fairy costume.
THEN, my mom jumped out of the car in my defense, upset and distressed, and then threw me in the car to get me out of there.
When I was 10, my friend said it would be really cool if we put our Pokemon cards together because we would have a full set and extras. This girl walked all over me, and I said yes. We put the cards in deck boxes at her house and would play with them regularly. A few months later, a family friend's son was seriously ill in hospital, and nobody knew if he would live.
One of the things he wanted to do while he was in hospital was complete his Pokemon collection. I said that if he wrote down all the cards he needed, I would get my half of the set back and give him all the ones I had from his list, plus any extras he wanted. The only card I didn't have when he gave me this list was Raichu, but I could get him that one from the shop that sold them singly, so I did.
I went and bought him a Raichu, and then I took the list to my friend's house to get my cards and sort out what he needed from my collection. When I got there and told her I needed my cards back, her response shocked me. She said I couldn't have them and closed the door in my face. But it gets worse.
A few days later, I found out that she had sold them all at a school fair the day before I went to her house. She got over £100 ($125) for all these cards, and not only did she not care that half of them were mine, but she also refused to give me any of the money because "there's no point in giving you the money if you just want to buy cards back for a kid who's gonna be [gone] soon anyway".
Ditched With Some Dudes
When I was 14, my best friend convinced me to come to one of her friends' houses, which was about an hour's drive away. I showed up, and it was a bunch of over 18-year-old guys drinking, lighting up, and whatnot. I immediately told her I was uncomfortable and wanted to leave, but she promised we would only stay an hour. Forty-five minutes later, she completely went back on her promise.
She disappeared with one of the blokes. I was left being the only female with four guys. An hour went by, and two of the guys started touching me up pretty forcefully. I ran out of there until I was a couple of streets away and called her in tears, telling her what happened. She got angry that I interrupted her and hung up.
She didn't answer any more calls, so I was left—at midnight—attempting to walk home from who knows where. This was years ago, and she still doesn't understand why I refuse to hang out with her.
Cue The Drama
My friend had gotten two tickets for a festival. I wasn't her first choice to ask, but when her other friend couldn't go, she asked me last minute. We were 16 at the time. I didn't really like a whole lot of the bands performing or the crowds that the bands brought with them. The venue was in the middle of nowhere and we were dropped off by a friend of a friend.
We were enjoying ourselves for a while until my friend got slightly pushed into the pit. She had a tendency to be completely overdramatic. It was no more than a shove, and without telling me, she suddenly disappeared. I scouted the whole place for her.
I had no phone credit to call or message her and no money, and she knew that. I asked a rando for their phone, but because we were out in the middle of nowhere—there was no reception. I continued to scour the place and all the medical tents for her and finally gave up and saw the last band finish up at about 12:30 AM.
I stood out in front of the venue in hopes of seeing her come out. She didn't. After waiting around for an hour in denial, I admitted to myself she ditched me. Her friend never turned up to pick us up because she probably had told them she was gone. There I was waiting at 1 AM with no money, no way of contacting anyone, and out in the middle of nowhere.
I decided to start walking until I got to a phone or until I had reception on mine. I walked for about an hour down a highway getting yelled at by people coming from the concert or just random drivers. I tried reverse-charging a call to my mom, but she didn't answer. I finally made it to a gas station and reverse-called my boyfriend to tell him where I was.
He had no car, so he couldn't pick me up, but he got a hold of my mom for me and told her where I was. While I was waiting around to be picked up, the most cliche creepy guy in a van pulled into the gas station and started asking me if I wanted a ride.
I said no and ran straight into the shop and told the clerk about the creepy guy outside, so he'd let me wait around in there instead. I found out my friend was taken away in an ambulance. Being the over-dramatic attention-seeker she was, she told the paramedics her ribs were broken.
There was absolutely nothing wrong with her, and I later found out that she wasn't having fun and wanted to ditch me and the festival in the quickest way possible.
What Happened To Baby Jane?
My school was pretty small, so everyone knew everything about everyone. I had a cousin Jane and we spent a lot of time together. We'd meet up after school and go to events together. Everyone knew how close we were. In my freshman year, a girl lost her life in a horrible car accident. Not knowing this yet, I went to class as usual, getting some homework done before the teacher started.
A girl that I was friends with, Ashley, came bursting into class gossiping about something that was going on. I wasn't really listening until she came over and said, "OMG, I can't believe it. Jane! Poor Jane. I'm sorry". I asked her what she was talking about and she told me that Jane passed in a car accident that morning. I was stunned.
I felt the color draining from my face and I started tearing up. Before I could react or say anything, one of my best friends ran over and got in her face, saying how the Jane who passed was not my cousin and that Ashley knew this. She just wanted to get a reaction out of me.
I ended up punching her after school when she got into my face lying about it, and we stopped being friends.
A Shattered Friendshipgreen and white abstract paintingPhoto by Ruan Richard Rodrigues on Unsplash
I had a very close friend in college who would continually talk about loyalty within friendships and the need to be a great person by not allowing anything to get in the way of your friendships. We were almost inseparable. On Cinco de Mayo, my roommates and I were throwing a big bash at our house to celebrate. The day went well, and we had a good show of people come over.
Being that it was a nice day, the party was separated inside and outside, with the people inside playing pong and Mario Kart and the people outside playing cornhole. I was up in a pong game while my friend was outside cheering on the cornhole boards. In an attempt to be funny and startle the people inside playing Mario Kart, he made a terrible decision.
He threw his glass at the massive window in front of the house. It shattered, and we knew it was going to be difficult trying to explain this to our landlord. However, my roommates and I were not people who were going to have an event like that ruin a good time, so we laughed it off and continued with the day.
The following day, my roommates and I talked about the situation and realized we were going to need to make reparations. My friend had crashed on the couch, so he was there to discuss it with us, and he promised that he would handle it. My roommates and I promised we'd help as we threw the party and would work out the expenses with him. This conversation was one of the last times I saw my friend.
For all his talk of loyalty and such, something as stupid as a broken window made him quit midway through the semester, screen most of our calls, and left us confused and hurt. At one point, I didn't even care if he paid his portion as long as there was some explanation, and we could work through it and hang out again.
Through the minimal phone contact we did have, he continued to promise to pay off his portion, and we left it at that. Then, my roommates and I decided to move to a different house, and the house was owned by the same landlord. The landlord told me that the window was still something that needed to be addressed.
Apparently, my friend had talked to him, stating that he was going to pay it all himself. Then my landlord received a call a week or two later from his older brother telling him that my friend had lost his life in a car wreck. I lost it and had my girlfriend call him. Within two rings, my friend answered.
My girlfriend said, "Whoa, hey, aren't you supposed to be dead?" He said, “Oh, that's right," and hung up. That was the last we heard from him.
He Graduated To Being A Jerk
My best friend throughout high school was a guy; I'm a girl. We went to the same college. Once there, things became strained between us. He tried to be controlling and just got weird with me. One night he invited me to a party. I went, and he kept trying to goad me into drinking.
Then, one of his new friends kept trying to get friendly with me. I turned him down. We had a big falling out. He then revealed—in an attempt to hurt me—he only took me to that party with the intent of getting me plastered to the point I couldn't say no to the advances of his friend.
I Was Played
A former bandmate of mine planned a small tour on our way to play a show at South by Southwest. They arranged a rental van in NY to drive to TX. When we got there, the car rental agent said that he couldn't rent the van in his name and have me drive it because he didn't have a license. So, I agreed to put the deposit on my credit card so long as he completely paid the balance when we returned. BIG MISTAKE.
He had already collected money from everyone who was going with us, so I figured it was a sure thing I would get paid back. When we returned a week later, he told me, "Hey man, so I don't have all the money for the van ‘cause I had to pay the venue to rent the space. I get paid next week, and I can get you the money then". I had no other option at that point than to trust him.
I had just started a new job, so I was flat broke, and he knew it. Two-thousand dollars was racked up on my low-limit, high-interest emergencies-only credit card. The second I got on the bus, and he said, "I think I'm just gonna walk to the train," I knew I was never getting paid back.
The next week I found out he had been playing shows with a completely new set of band members and playing the music we all wrote together. The dude was awful.
A girl asked if she could sleep in my apartment because she was having some problems with her father and needed some time to think, so I agreed. A few days after she was sleeping there, my company phone went missing. I told my boss, and he was mad.
When I got home, I asked if she had seen it and explained that it was really important and that I could get fired if I didn't find it. We searched every single corner of the apartment for two hours, but it wasn't anywhere. The next day I was desperate, and my boss threatened to fire me if I didn't find it.
I called the service provider and asked if they could use triangulation to find the position on a map, but they informed me that this service was only available with a court order. I finally checked the provider's website, and someone had used it to make a call after I lost it. I Googled the destination phone number, and my jaw dropped.
It was the girl's father. I sent her a message saying that I wanted her out of my house and my phone back. When I got home, she returned the phone and explained that she had taken it because I said something she didn't like, and it was an act of vengeance.
I Saw Her For What She Was
A few years before starting high school, I started losing my sight. I had to use little telescope-type gadgets to see the blackboard, had to have pages from textbooks enlarged from A4 to A3 size, etc. A girl I'd been really close to since we were about three years old thought it'd be funny if she encouraged all of the other kids in my class to run away from me whenever I tried talking to them.
It was hard enough dealing with the change, but being alone like that made it so much worse. Then she'd say I was being a spoiled brat with no sense of humor when I got angry with her. I went to a tiny primary school in a pretty rural area, so there were only nine other kids in my class. You didn't really have much of a say in who you hung out with, so I was stuck with this girl for a couple of years.
It pretty much continued—other girls making fun of how I had to hold books really close to my face, making horrible jokes, and stuff like that. This girl and I went to the same high school, and I stayed with her for the first few months because I was terrified that any new friends I made would just treat me the way she did.
Eventually, she told me that it was embarrassing being seen with me and that her new friends didn't want me trying to fit into their group. They were all shallow girls. People say I should "just move on" or "put it behind me," or even that I should forgive her. However, it's still infuriating to think about, and I don't see myself forgetting it anytime soon.
I'd honestly love for her to end up alone and miserable.
Sneaking Around In Sin Citywoman sitting on yellow armless chair near gray laptop computerPhoto by Mimi Thian on Unsplash
My supposed best friend went to Vegas with my ex-husband weeks after my divorce was final. I probably wouldn't have been mad if either of them had the guts to tell me, but instead, I figured it out when they were both posting Facebook updates from Vegas. She found out later on why he was my ex-husband. It was karma at its finest.
She tried to come crying to me when he was manipulative and just awful to her. My reaction was, "You're joking, right?" We are no longer friends.
He Failed The Friendship Test
When I was in Grade 12, I was trying hard to get good marks for university. I finished a chem lab report that I had been working on for a while. I made all my diagrams and charts and even got them reviewed by my teacher beforehand. The day before it was due, my friend asked if he could view it to see if we got similar results.
In my mind, I thought, sure, why not? I've done this hundreds of times, both comparing and letting friends compare. A month later, when we got our lab reports back, we both got zeros. This lab report and one other test was going on our midterm mark the universities were going to look at, and now under chemistry on my midterm, I had a zero. I was gutted and so confused.
When my teacher called us to talk to us individually, I saw how much he had copied. He had plagiarized all the diagrams, and he didn't even bother changing the font on the text. Afterward, I sent my teacher and principal a letter saying I was sorry and I had no idea he was going to blatantly copy like that.
Instead of a zero for the course, I got a zero for the lab only, which gave me a mark that was enough to get into my preferred program. My "friend" on the other hand ended up repeating high school as he couldn't get into his program with a zero in chem.
She Was A Real Gem-ma
When I was 14, I had a crush on my best friend, Liam, and I told my new friend Gemma about it. She started freaking out about how adorable we'd be together, saying, “You're best friends, you're both short, and you both wear glasses!" She also said I should tell him. I initially said no, because I was sure he didn't like me back, but she egged me on for weeks.
However, during that time, she started behaving quite weirdly around him, like flirting with him in front of me, constantly trying to one-up me when the three of us were having a conversation, going for trips to the mall together, etc. Needless to say, I was rather confused and upset.
I finally couldn't take it anymore, so for some reason, my best solution was to tell Liam that I liked him. He was very nice about it, but as I had suspected, he didn't like me back, and even if he did, he said he didn't really want a girlfriend. I was okay with that. Then, three days later, Liam had a girlfriend, set up by Gemma, of course.
A "friend" of mine couldn't afford an abortion when she was 17. We were still in school and she was too scared to tell the father. I gave her $150 about two weeks before we graduated to help her pay for it. It was her decision, and I knew it was a life-changing one, regardless of the outcome. I took her to the doctor, and I took care of her after the procedure.
I only had a part-time job and made less than what I'd given her in a week; it was a big deal at the time. I asked her to pay me back $50 a week over the next three weeks. She said she could afford it and not to worry. Something came up those next two weeks, and she couldn't pay me back. Then, we graduated, and she wouldn't return my messages, calls, instant messages, or anything.
She came to group things if I wasn't there, but she was still doing things with our other friends otherwise. It was so shady—but then it got worse. She eventually spread rumors about me so our friends would stop inviting me to stuff. I caught onto the situation really quickly—she was avoiding me so she didn't have to pay me back.
I didn't feel good about this next step, but I had been her "best friend" for a few years now, and she had already decided to take the moral low ground. I kept calling her house throughout all of this, where she lived with her parents. We had been really close friends previously, so I'd talk to her mom or dad when she didn't answer.
They must have talked her into speaking with me because I told them I hadn't heard from her and that I was worried; then she spoke to me the next time I called. She tried acting like nothing had happened, but I cut to the chase and told her I'd tell her parents if the money wasn't in my bank account in two days.
She tried saying the bank wouldn't process it that fast, but I told her no excuses. I'd show up in person and tell them everything if she didn't pay. Needless to say, the money was there in no time.
Mean Girls—The Sequel
My best friend and I got into some ridiculous confrontation on MSN Messenger. I'm talking the whole shebang—paragraphs written in capitals, passive-aggressive screen name changes, etc. It was typical girl drama—who was more popular, had the better boyfriend, and all that jazz.
The next day, I didn't go to school for unrelated reasons. I found out later that afternoon that she had printed off the 15-page conversation. She showed it to everybody in our year, with the awful things she said conveniently missing.
Later that year she got my "boyfriend" to break up with me while on a group call with the popular crowd. It was some real Mean Girls stuff.
Standing Up For What’s Righta woman in a pink jacket is sitting on a ledgePhoto by Mike Von on Unsplash
I suffered from severe depression in primary school. I only had one best friend, and we were really close. He got teased a lot for being weird, and I stood up for him every time. I got into confrontations with a few bigger boys even though I was a skinny little girl.
I felt very protective of him, but his family hated me. They thought I was a bad influence. Even though their son was so socially awkward and snobby that he couldn't get any other friends, he was their little angel. One time I got into a bigger argument and both of our families, another boy's family, and a teacher had a sit-down.
I was really emotional through the whole thing and barely held back tears as I explained how I tried to get the other boy to let go of my best friend. But when it was my friend's turn to speak, he threw me under the bus. He didn't even bother acknowledging my help. He only said stuff that made him look good. His parents spoke the same way.
I got mad and thought about our friendship when I got home. I realized that this guy had never stood up for me—even abandoned me more than a few times—and here I was taking heat for him. I tolerated him for a few more years and never made contact with him again after primary school was over, even though we lived 300 meters apart.
My Sister Was A Snake
It was actually my sister who was the double-crosser. When we were young, she was the skinny popular one, and I was the chubby nerdy one. Every single boy I ever had a crush on, she would go out and sleep with.
When I was in 6th grade and she was in 7th, I had a crush on a boy at my school who was a fifth grader. She came to my school and introduced herself and then started going out with him.
A few years later, I met a boy named Billy. I was head over heels for him. We went out a few times, then he met her. The next thing I knew, they were dating. She brought him over all the time, and I had to see them together every day. I was just heartbroken.
Of course, they only lasted a few months because she treated him like dirt since she was not interested in him in the first place. She was just using him to hurt me, and for his money.
A Cross-border Debacle
My former girlfriend was moving across the US to a Canadian city for a new job and needed someone to go with her as she felt insecure alone. I was recently married to a VERY understanding wife and agreed to help, after she assured me that everything was in order.
At the time, I was going through some very uncomfortable health issues, but she was a friend in need. I am a very experienced road-tripper, having been all over the US and Canada by car. It turned out that "everything in order" meant she had printed out Yahoo driving directions.
We got to the US/Canada border and were in line at the checkpoint when it became apparent that she had no paperwork for working abroad, no paperwork for her dog who was with us, a can of mace in the car, and had never seen the house where we were to stay. When I expressed my concern about this, she screamed me out and said, "We'll just lie". But that wasn't the worst part.
Somehow we made it through customs and shortly thereafter, the driving directions went wrong and we were adrift in this city I had only been to once, without maps, or anything. I "used the force" and got us to the house. It was in shambles—torn to bits in the very early stages of a remodel.
I lost my mind and ditched her, her dog, and her stuff at the place and took a cab to a hotel. By that point, my health was very bad. I rallied, bought an expensive one-way flight home, and lost another friend.
Friend-Zoned For A Friend
My best friend from high school and I had a crush on the same girl. I didn't know he had a crush on her until things between her and I started to pick up. It was nothing serious, just hanging out and talking to each other all the time. One day, he and I were chilling, talking about women and what we wanted in life.
He told me a fishy story about how he and one of his good friends stopped talking because they got into a competition over the same chick. He then said that he likes the chick I've been hanging out with and asked me who I liked, as if to say, "Are we going to have a problem?" So, I backed off from the girl.
Months passed and he never made a move, so I confronted him about it. I told him he needed to make a move or risk the dreaded friend zone. Months passed and he stopped hanging out with EVERYONE. I was left wondering if I should go for it with the girl and lose my friend, or stay in the friend zone.
Shortly thereafter, she started dating someone else completely. I lost my chance with her, and he and I stopped talking altogether. Years later, we started hanging out again, letting bygones be bygones. Over drinks one day, I told him that this mutual chick and I had been talking and it felt like it was going somewhere.
A couple of weeks after I told him that, there was a pub crawl. I couldn’t go because I had work the next morning. I found out from the chick the next day that he was buying her all sorts of drinks and trying to sleep with her.
My mom had a friend, and she had a son about my age. So whenever my mom’s friend would come over, her son would come over too because my mother wanted us to play together. This kid was the worst. We were both really into Pokemon; I had silver, he had gold.
He was really bad at the game, his Pokemon were under-leveled, he couldn't beat the first gym, etc. The Pokemon master that I was, I decided to help him out. I showed him which Pokemon were good, and how to tell which moves to use, etc.
So one day, he asked if he could bring my Gameboy back to his house to look at my Pokemon and then bring it back the next day. Of course, my naive self accepted the offer. I expected him to look through my Pokemon and think that I was the coolest, but no.
He transferred ALL of my Pokemon, including my level 100 Typhlosion. He replaced them with Pidgeys and Caterpies.
League Of Deceptionwoman in brown sweater covering her face with her handPhoto by Dev Asangbam on Unsplash
My "best" friend begged me to join a club at school. I went only to hang out with her. They had a big conference every year, and I went as a helper because I had no interest in doing a project just to go. As soon as we got on the bus to leave, she pretended she didn't know who I was and then made fun of me to her other friends. I was in the same hotel room as them.
I made it home in one piece and broke down when my mom asked if I had fun. My mother called her a name and gave me a hug. The next Monday at school, she went right back to pretending we were best buddies. I decided I was better off without her.
A Tricky Triad
My friend kept insisting I meet her boyfriend's roommate. I had recently broken up with my boyfriend and I wasn't interested in meeting him. She kept telling me how he was such a catch—he was a Marine, he built his house, had a truck and snowmobiles, was a good father, a volunteer fireman, etc. I gave in after a couple of weeks of her bothering me about him.
We went on a few dates, and I really liked him. I was out to dinner with another friend and her boyfriend, and I was telling her how much I liked this guy. Then, she told me my friend who introduced me to him was sleeping with him the whole time. She met her boyfriend online and had a threesome with him and the guy I was dating the first night they met.
We had been going on dates for a couple of months by then.
A Job Undone
We were each other's best men at our respective weddings. I moved into a house with a steep gravel driveway that was all kinds of messed up. He was trying to start his own grading and paving business. I told him that I wanted to hire him to grade and pave my driveway, and that I didn't want a discount because I had to hire somebody to do it anyway, and I wanted to give him the business.
He quoted me a price, I wrote him a check, and he never did the work. A couple of months went by, and I asked him when he was going to do it. He told me, "When I get time". I explained to him that I wasn't asking for a hook-up and that I hired him to do a job just like anyone else. His response made my blood boil.
He got mad that I was "treating him like an employee" and hasn't spoken to me since. He's told other people that I was the one in the wrong because I let "a few hundred bucks get in the way of our friendship". I've tried many times to make contact with him, but he never returns my calls.
It Was Lights Out For This Friendship
My best friend/roommate bailed on a $1,200 electric bill. The bill was in my name. I had been hospitalized, and after I was released, I had to attend a daily outpatient program. Because of a past history with the electric company, she couldn't open an account in her name. So as a favor, I kept it in my name, with the understanding that she would open the bills and pay them, but she didn’t.
So, I took the account out of my name. She called me crying, saying she won't be able to have electricity, so I reluctantly kept it in my name. I started getting calls from debt collectors. I asked if she would be willing to send me something—even $10 a week—just so I know she was making an effort.
She said she couldn't afford that. Because she let all the fees rack up, I had to pay a $1,200 bill.
Hung Out To Dry
I had a lazy, disgusting-excuse-of-a-human-being friend rent a room from me. He lied and said he stopped using substances, but I knew he was doing it all behind my back. The reason why he was lazy was because he never cleaned up after himself and refused to do the agreed chores.
One day, I came back, and most of his stuff was gone. I checked with him, and he said he was out at the end of the month; it was the 28th! He didn't give me the decency of giving me 30 days’ notice, as needed by law. But the cherry on top?
His mom contacted me and started blasting me, saying that she didn’t appreciate me treating her son like a servant or maid, and that she would report me for unclaimed income, which I actually claimed.
A Whole Latte Liesgirl in pink long sleeve shirt and white skirt sitting on brown wooden staircasePhoto by Vitaliy Rigalovsky on Unsplash
My friend told my potential employer that I had pilfered money before so that I wouldn't get the job. It was at Starbucks, and she had some crazy vendetta against the company. As a result, she didn't approve of me wanting to work there. She ended up confessing a few weeks later when she was completely trashed.
He Was A Liarsaurus Rex
When I was in primary school, I was obsessed with dinosaurs. I brought my brand new Velociraptor to school to show it to all my friends! It was so rad, you pressed the legs in and he chomped down on your thumb. At the end of the day, I went to get my bag from the corner of the room.
I was the last to get my bag because I was always a slowpoke, dragging my little feet along. I unzipped to check on my little buddy—and almost dropped my bag in shock. The Raptor was gone. I was pretty upset, but I was sure I knew who took it—Melvin! He was so jealous, I knew it was him.
My mom talked to his grandparents and he denied everything! My mom felt bad and bought me a new Velociraptor. Six months later, Melvin was caught by his grandparents playing with a Velociraptor toy in his backyard. He gave it back under the pretense, "I found it in my bag, I don't know how it got there. I'm so sorry".
Dealing With A Devil
He made sure that the windows in my house were unlocked so when I left for work, he'd break in and deal out of my house. He'd leave before I got home, so I didn't really know. Only recently, years after I moved out of that place, did I find out he was storing a huge load at my home.
I found out through other people that they bought stuff from him at my house all the time.
Cray Cray On The Vacay
A girl I saw once every year at one of those timeshare resorts had a younger sister who had this huge thing for me. She was attractive but very manipulative. The girl would constantly set me up to get in trouble for doing bad stuff around the resort, and I'd always take the blame somehow.
In the end, I tried to stay away from her, and figuring it was only once a year, it wasn't too hard. I went to an all-boys school, and somehow this crazy girl ended up finding out who my group of friends was purely by chance.
She befriended some of them and then told them this huge story about her poor sister, following it up with how mean I was to her and how I treated her badly. All of it was false, of course. My friend group turned on me, branding me as a monster.
He Was A Liar And A Cheat
We shared a group of friends. He was dating my best friend, and I was dating his sister. I caught him cheating on my friend, so I told him to fix it before it blew up in his face. Instead of fixing it, the following week he brought his fling to my house party just to mess with me.
That night, my friend called me, suspecting the guy was up to something, and noticed my tone. She asked for the truth, so I told her. He flipped. Being a convincing liar, he somehow turned it around on me and said I made it up. He then made his sister break up with me. Nobody in the group defended me.
My friend appreciated it and believed me. She forgave him and took him back not even a month later, then ditched me because I couldn't get along with him.
Sixth Grade Psychoman wearing knit cap on grey backgroundPhoto by Andrew Neel on Unsplash
In the sixth grade, I had a friend, Matthew, who I talked to on a regular basis and who was into a lot of computer games, similar to me. Everyone in my class was getting MSN, and having just got mine, another friend, Sam, came over. He gave me the account names of everybody in the class, including Matthew.
While I was playing Gamecube with Sam, my mom called me up and told me she had something important to tell me. She took me to my computer and showed me a conversation she was having with Matthew. He was using foul language, asking how I got his MSN. My mom then proceeded to call his mother.
He was bawling on the phone, crying, saying he was sorry. The next day, he came up to me and told me my mom—who had cancer—was awful and hoped she would succumb to her illness. The next month, the authorities came to the school and took two students from our Grade Six class.
Three of the girls in our class received threats from someone, and they suspected it was two kids in our class because of their bad reputations. It turned out it was Matthew. He was expelled in the sixth grade.
Ousted For No Reason
A few weeks after I graduated high school, I came home from visiting my mom to find my roommates had put all my stuff out on our front porch, except for the few things they wanted to keep.
I'd already paid up my rent, so that wasn't an issue. I don't know how long my stuff had been out there. Even worse, one of those roommates then told my friends that I'd beaten him up and that's why he booted me out. He even had a black eye to show for it, but I had no clue where it came from.
This resulted in all of my friends cutting all contact with me for over a month. This was the same guy who had been living in my house with my mom and me for almost a year, with no job and no contributions. Not long after, I moved away. My friends had come back, but it was never really the same.
Planting The Seed Of Insecurity
When I was fifteen, I got a job at a garden center. It was a tough job, but it was fun. There was a group of kids around my age or a little older who worked there as well, and I became friends with them. I got picked on a lot at school, so it was nice having a group of people who were actually nice to me.
We joked around at work, and it eventually led to us hanging out outside of work. One day, we decided to hang out after work. I got a ride and we went to a bar, but it seemed different. Everybody was ignoring me like I wasn't there. I gave up after a while and just sat there, waiting to leave.
When everybody was ready to go, the group all looked at me and one of them said, "We don't like you. We never liked you. We were only hanging out with you because we felt sorry for you. We don't want you to come out with us anymore". Then, they all left and none of them would give me a ride home like they usually did.
I had to call my mom and she picked me up. It still affects me. I don't really open up and I have a hard time trusting people. I wonder if the friends I have today only hang out with me because they feel sorry for me.
High School Hijinks
I had a group of friends in high school who typed a letter saying they were the dad of a close friend who wanted to teach me how to be intimate. The letter said I wasn't to tell anyone or I'd "get what's coming", and, if I was interested, to tie a red ribbon around the mailbox.
I told my dad, who called the authorities and told my group, who I thought were good people. However, I always had a feeling it was them. Red ribbons started showing up every couple of nights on the mailbox. It caused several arguments between my dad, who was concerned, and my stepmom, who for some reason thought I was doing it for attention.
My shaky home life went into the trash. Rocks would be thrown at my window in the middle of the night, my car was egged, and the house was covered in toilet paper. I was pulled out of class to have my car searched under suspicion of having drinks on the premises.
Suddenly, everyone knew about an incident that had happened when I was a child that I had only told my group of friends. Then, the group started showing up at my work to say terrible things to me. One night, someone followed me home from work, honking behind me the entire way.
This all unfolded in about two months. When I graduated high school and stopped talking to any of them, it all stopped. I don't have any proof it was them, but I'm not an idiot. I had the best grades, a steady job, a scholarship, and a boyfriend. They just decided I was an outsider.
She Trashed Our Friendship
I was applying for an internship. My closest friend was part of the committee charged with accepting applicants and the main person in charge of approving applications. An acquaintance of mine, who was also on the committee, told me that my friend threw away my application before it was even reviewed.
Those were grounds for referring her to our university’s judicial review committee, and my acquaintance was willing to go forward with it. I decided not to follow through, since my friend would have had a permanent mark on their record. Obviously, we don't talk anymore.
They Were Playing Mind Gamesperson holding silver iphone 6Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash
My friends and I started playing Minecraft and promptly started our own town. For months and months, when we got home from school, we would log on right away and play all day. After a while, we were a bustling "city" with more than 50 residents, all with their own plots in our jungle town. Another friend played on this kid’s account.
I was playing, managing my plots, and my best friend had shared mayorship of the town. You could only really have one person with mayoral rights, and this other friend got it. He did the unthinkable. He started destroying everything I had built, including my house and our whole town.
I called my friend in tears asking for him to toss this guy out of the town because I cared about that town; I had worked so hard on it. No one could do anything, and I was having a legit panic attack. I couldn't breathe. He finally stopped when my once extravagant city was in ruins, and I decided to stop playing Minecraft.
I later found out this kid was being controlled by all my "best friends" as a joke, and the fact I called one of them while crying made them laugh. They told me it was "super funny".
He Muddied My Mama’s Reputation
My best friend who I'd known since first grade, slept with my mom in high school. Everyone in my life knew about it for three years before I found out because, apparently, he was very proud of himself and bragged about it. The worst part was that it was such news to me; it literally seemed like somebody had made it up.
It inevitably had to become my new reality. My friendships have not been the same since.
Our Friendship Went Up In Flames
My so-called “friends” took my car out after I had gone to bed. They crashed it doing 80 mph in my neighborhood and came back to tell me. I had to walk a mile there, only to find out my car was already engulfed in six-foot flames. I had to call the fire department, and after all of that, I didn’t even get an apology.
Fighting For The Sake Of Mental Health
A long-time friend from my high school days had developed worrying mental health issues, and I didn't know how to deal with it. I confided in a friend that I was worried and not sure how to help him. I explained what I thought was wrong and how it was frustrating because I felt powerless.
A few days later, I found out the friend I confided in told everyone what I'd spoken to him about. He told everyone he knew in an attempt to ruin the friendship I had with my other friend because, "Those with mental health issues should be run out of my society and you shouldn't be near [them]”.
I lost my patience and cool with him and called him out. It turns out I'd saved myself from someone who was a complete headcase. He would later go on to make up rumors about everyone around him.
Catching Heat Over A Housecoat
My friend told her mom that I had taken the housecoat that she herself had borrowed from her mom and then given to me. Her mom called asking about it, so I returned it with no fuss. Then, the mom called the authorities and had me charged with theft on Christmas Eve—a week after I had returned the item to her.
I was considered a thief, even though it had been given to me by the daughter.
A Photo Finishman wearing black and red pullover hoodiePhoto by Ben den Engelsen on Unsplash
In my senior year in high school, a friend took a picture of me and another girl who I was working on an assignment with in the hallway. He then proceeded to show it to my girlfriend of three years for the sole purpose of breaking us up. It worked.
Afterward, he tried to hook up with her. The only thing that made it worthwhile was him getting denied and losing me, his best friend since middle school. My family even let him stay with us for the summer when he was having family troubles in his home.
Banished Blood Brother
This one friend of mine was practically raised by my mother since we met back in 1997 and we became best friends. We sheltered him a few times when his father went on trying to beat the daylights out of him for no reason at all. Earlier in 2012, my mom underwent surgery and needed blood donors. He was a match, so he could give blood to her.
I called him to ask if he could donate blood for my mom, and he agreed, saying he would go the next morning. He never showed up, which was followed by not replying to my texts, answering my calls, and avoiding me altogether. I never saw him again.
Later that year, I heard from some mutual friends that he moved to another city to go to college. We still haven't talked since that incident.
This Christian Girl Was Pure Evil
I befriended this super chipper preppy Christian girl in middle school. I had trichotillomania from fifth grade on, and it was now eighth grade. Half of my head was bald at one point. I got bullied ruthlessly. I had zero friends, and by some miracle, this nice little Christian girl came up to me and started writing me notes in class.
I thought she must be a very good person—she was in all these extracurricular activities helping the community, in youth groups, etc. I was also religious and thought it must've been God answering my prayers.
In addition to the anxiety/trich, I was diagnosed with an 8 mm mass in my left temporal lobe that was deemed inoperable. There was a history of brain tumors in my family. I was relatively at peace with losing my life, but my parents were visibly shaken, and I felt I hadn't really lived yet.
This girl came to school on the last day and wrote me a final letter before we all went home. She seemed distant and told me not to open it until I got home. Its contents shocked me to the core.
It said, "You're really ugly and disgusting. Nobody likes you, so I decided to be your friend because that's what Jesus would want, but you are really really gross, and I am NOT your friend. I was never your friend. People are bullying me for being nice to you. Don't EVER talk to me again after this. Goodbye!"
Left With A Bloody Mess
Andy invited John to sleep over at his house for the weekend. During the same time, Andy invited over this girl he was trying to get with, hoping to get something going. That night, they were hanging out and drinking when John and the girl left for ten minutes or so. After they were done drinking, the girl went home, and John passed out on the couch.
My friend Andy, tired and sloshed, walked into his room in the dark and plopped down on the bed to pass out. As soon as he hit the bed, he heard a squish. The bed felt wet to the touch. He turned on the lights, and his bed was soaked in blood. Apparently, John and the girl got busy on his bed while she was on her period.
Instead of saying, "Let's do this some other time," they left a huge mess. Andy had to clean up the aftermath.
No Misunderstanding Here
I had a friend move in with me after he got booted out of his house. Soon after, my girlfriend didn't want to sleep with me much. He stayed for about three weeks when I noticed things were strange between him and my girl.
It would be little things like kisses on the cheek, or my girlfriend being at my house before I got home from work and they would be sitting right next to each other on the couch watching a movie. I had suspicions, but at the same time, I thought I was just being insecure.
One day, I came home and, as usual, they were sitting on the couch. I went into my bedroom and there was a cell phone on my bed. It was my friend’s. The screen was on and his texts were open. I saw my girlfriend’s name and decided to open it.
Among the messages were things like, "I am alone at his house," and, "He just left, he has work till 7," as well as some revealing photos. I walked out and stared at them for a minute, then said, "Hey friend. Found your phone on my bed". I threw it over to him with a picture of my girlfriend undressed on his screen.
I saw his face go white and that's when I went crazy. I punched my wall as hard as I could and told them both to get out now! They were both screaming that it was a misunderstanding. My girlfriend left saying, "Well, it’s a misunderstanding, and it’s your loss because I was gonna [do] you really good tonight".
A month later, I found out she was pregnant. I hadn't slept with her for about two months prior, and not from a lack of me wanting to. She turned out to be a really nasty person and even tried to tell me that it was my baby.